“ No one knew him but to love him,
No one named him but to praise.”
“ ‘Tis only noble to be good;
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.”
A warm spring haze fills the small village of Glastonbury. Her location known to none of her lost residents in this New World. It has been dry, very dry in fact. It hasn’t rained in weeks and one third of her people have become affected by the diarrhea. The odd village bustles with activity. It seems none of her villagers can escape the labors brought about by divine or perhaps devilish intervention.
Knights and Knight Errands are forced to survive by plowing and driving their beasts of war into beasts of burden.
Friars, priests, and monks have been sowing seeds frantically to catch up to what all have conceded to be “spring”. Bakers have been managing the fires constantly and the young have been helping in the kitchens to prepare and preserve food for winter in these lands could be harsh and might come sooner than anticipated.
All are preparing for a hard life in a strange and foreign land. All doing so on lowered rations. The quiet in the town brought on not by peace but by exhaustion tinged with fear and an underlying dread of what strange terrors might be lurking out there…
We turn now to the doors of an abbey. And to a meeting inside its walls. A meeting of Glastonbury’s best thinkers and doers. In attendance we find Robert Devaroux, Abbot William of St. Vigor, Charles de Maubrey, Addy Raimbencourt and his assistant Flavian, the young Fin McCloud, and others.
The Council at the Abbey
It is widely agreed now from pontiff to scholar to men of the range that it is mid May. It is noted that several of the villages best and brightest were not present at this meeting and were in fact in field directing some of the projects that required direct supervision. Others of less constitutional prowess were in recovery due to the illness which had beset itself upon Glastonbury.
We join the meeting underway as Robert is summarizing the great efforts made to plow and sow, preserve and sew, construct and dig, indeed all the laborious as everyone was put to task.
Scouts are taxed with exploring and hunting, gathering, in shifts from pre-dawn till dusk and called in from the wilds in fear of being lost to the Monsters of this ….place
Every hand has been calloused, blistered, or numbed…quite simply worked to the bone. All are exhausted from the collective efforts. Nobility might now come to be defined as, having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals, rather than belonging to a hereditary class of aristocracy.
There is a water contingency. It hasn’t rained in weeks. The water table is low here on the plains. And when wells are dug and water is drawn up it is murky and silty. It is difficult to get water from the river all the way to the farms and dangerous to do so because of what may lurk in hiding between the village and the river.
Peter Bakerson, Glastonbury’s mayor, is convinced that rain will come. He has faith that the Lord God will provide for them all if they are all faithful and respectful of God’s laws.
Food stores are running low. Every man woman and child have been put on low rations.
The knights and monks have been tasked with doling out fair rations to every villager.
The scouts have found little in the way of small game, Flavian surmises that it is possibly due to the dragon consuming all the small game in the area.
Scouts have yet to find a source for hard woods and little in the way of soft is available…though plenty of drift wood from the river indicates that there is definitely some to the North…but how far is not known…
The Smithy is idle. Not only supplies of combustibles are low, but ore, copper, and other heavy metals are nearly exhausted.
Bakery has been producing hard ration bread. The efforts have been great, reducing further the supplies of soft wood quickly.
Winter on the way – dung has worked for warming ovens and boiling water but the stench!!!
The moat project is put on hold. The labor has been redirected to baking of breads, sowing, hunting and gathering.
Baroness Alice St. George enters the council room and declares there is not enough material for new fall fashionable clothing. Though the counsel laughs, this could have long term problems for the village indeed, winter is coming…
Charles suggests that the people abandon Glastonbury and move where resources might be more easily retrieved but Lord Robert, Abbot William, and Peter Bakerson all protest against losing the resources provided by the village, the freshly plowed fields, and the partly completed Abbey.
Addy Raimbencourt and Flavian suggest putting efforts into Prospecting for resources.
The council decides to move on as an impasse between lords and scholars have become somewhat impassioned by this subject.
Next on the council agenda is to be discussed the fate of the captured aboriginal. Gideon and Adrian are of course officially praised by the Council and hailed as heroes.
During this harangue the captured primitive is brought in, in an unconscious state. He is still clad in heavy poorly tanned and assembled leather. No cloth whatsoever is upon his person. He is heavily muscled, with a heavy brow and strong Jaw. His stature is stout and broad. Truly a magnificently powerful creature this must be.
Bound firmly at the wrists with rope tethered to the ankles he comes round and immediately begins to struggle, its biceps and forearm muscles bulging in strained attempts to break free its bondage.
Its belongings and weapons are examined. An oddly furbished bone and sinew bow of very high poundage. A flimsy primitive curved blade is scoffed at, demonstrating that it is not much better than tin.
The suggestion is made to learn how to communicate with the man-like creature. Quickly agreed upon, the scholars set to it.
During the council meeting Fin is startled by Crazy Agnes the local “crazy cat lady”. Though she has been well respected in the past for her age, relative wisdom, and her knowledge of midwifery, many believe she might be a witch. She tells him and the council that he is destined for greatness and she nearly convinces the counsel of such premonitions.
Adrien Dubois in dire condition after the battle with the aboriginals.
Luc with LeBlanc, Stefan, and several knights are tracking the aboriginal that made its escape. Luc finds tracks of a pack of very large “wolves”. It has become apparent that these primitive creatures are riding on the backs of some sort of wild large wolf like canine. The set off to track the great wolves. They are lead toward the river. And though it is difficult to stay in pursuit. Luc firmly believes these creatures to be intelligent as to have such acumen to throw its pursuers off their path.
The Tracks led the party toward a herd of beastly bovidious mammals. The cleverness of these creatures is confirmed by their deliberate plan to lead its pursuers directly into the herd. As Luc moved closer to the shaggy maned beasts. They became aggressive, posturing to charge at the young scout. Snorting, and lowering their curve horned massive heads was enough to force the party to give them wide berth and the group was forced to move around the mass of hulking unshorn beasts.
This lead to the loss of pursuit of the aboriginal creature and its pack of great wolves. The herd of “bison” left behind a wounded herd member. It had been wounded by the passing wolves. A welcomed feast for the village to be sure. The knights and scouts cleaned and collected the offal, meat, and hide and made journey back to Glastonbury
Fin has been spending more time with Crazy Agnes. He finds that a monk seems to be keeping watch, and taking notes about the feared woman.
Adrian Dubois’ condition has worsened. His fever and infected wound are not responding to treatment. It is learned that the infection came from getting hit with a native sword that had feces on it.
Prester peter discovers that Skag- the captured aboriginal, is speaking a very broken form of Arabic.
Fin has been witnessing nothing short of delusional witchcraft or divine power represented by a shimmery glow around certain people of the village. He keeps this information to himself…for now.
Two political views have begun to arise in Glasonbury. The opposing views of Charles de Maubrey and his wishes to pursue and destroy the enemies of God, and all evil; and that of Robert Deveroux, who’s plan is the steadfast and firm rooting of which they have already begun to establish. Lord Robert desires to stay put and continue what they have begun. Having faith that The Almighty will provide for them if they are devout enough and forward thinking enough, making preparation of food, sundries, and shelter for the winter.
Fin has become very concerned with the health of Dubois. He enquires with Agnes for advice, who knows for certain that it is time for action!
McCloud decides to ask the individual with the strongest glow (actually a halo!!), Brother Robert to pray over Dubois, but Brother Robert is already at the Abbey.
Brother Robert locks himself inside while Fin remains outside the chambers and prays throughout the evening on bent knee. A youthful bearded man appears before the young Fin. Walking toward him with palms up and displayed for him to see the signs of Stigmata. Fin takes this to be a herald of the Divine Maker. He who seems to be Yeshua asks Fin if he can pass. Fin bows low and allows the Holy Ghost to enter into Dubois chamber. The igniis fatuus passes through the door as if it wasn’t even there.
Fin awakes in the morning to a healthy Dubois opening the door. Brother Robert is asleep in the room. Adrian is famished and wishes to eat. They head to the kitchens/mess hall. All present are taken aback and begin to rave that Dubois has made a miraculous recovery.
Meanwhile Brother Robert is floating in midair, out the window in some dreamlike state. He is hauled down and woken by a slap from….
The abbot “asks” fin to NOT tell Prester Peter about this event…though word has spread through the village like fire through a dry grassy field on a blustery day.
Brother Robert also prayed for rain…and a mighty rain fell on the second night.
A decision by the council is made regarding staying in Glastonbury. A contingent is called to assemble.
Membership of the contingent consist of the young prospector Flavien, a cartographer, several scouts including Luc-Philipe, the aspiring Scot priest Fin McCloud, several crossbowman and a small Knight escort led by Andre Leblanc and Stefan Alvaraz. It was agreed to the best of their scholarly knowledge, to head North.
After travelling much of the day they came across a cold assumedly spring-fed river. They followed its banks further north into the beginnings of a valley. A forest of new growth was an inspiration as it lead to older and older trees.
They were now approximately 15 miles from Glastonbury and planning to set up camp somewhere soon.
The group came across the ruins of what appeared to be a castle on a hill across the river.
It was here in this valley they found the leftover campsite of some nomadic hunter gatherers…fire pits etc.
The consensus was to explore the ruins and find out if it might make a suitable and defensible place for encampment.
Scouting ahead, Luc learns that this is no castle but a well-built stone watch tower.
On the way up the valley hill a mummified body hung in their path from a wooden post. A warning perhaps? Who’s to know? By the grace of God…it’s been there for years mummified and bound in leather.
Fin seems to take a deeper notice, something others do not upon the body, and records on parchment notes in strange symbols.
The tower though once great, now lays in ruin noticeably destroyed by multiple sieges of stone battery and fire. It is estimated to be Perhaps 80-100 years old.
The masonry and metal hinging and fasteners are of the finest quality and craftsmanship Flavien has encountered and finer yet he guesses than anything he’s has learned about. Not even the slightest corrosion or rust touches any of the metal.
A few of the party are tasked to gather some of the metal and stone for further research in Glastonbury.
Camp is set up and the soldiers draw lots for watches.
Fin wakes and …and notices a Burning Man heading uphill toward the tower ruins. “To arms!” Battle ensues.
Andre laughing fights…Hit hard and goes down
Luc disappears into the wood folding into her protective darkness.
Swords seem to have no effect upon this hellish aberration. Though Luc’s well placed arrows cause it damage and seem to enrage it.
Stefan gathers the horses and tries to lead them over rubble down the hill to escape from the flaming terror.
Fin falls into the gorge of rocks and rubble …and disappears underground…
Falls into storage underground…
Luc tracks him down much later…